MATTOON — Gloria Lindley has macular degeneration to the point that she cannot see her loved ones' faces, so her family sent a request to the Twilight Wish Foundation for a medical device to enhance low vision.
The 79-year-old Mattoon resident said that request soon led to Lions Clubs International district trustee David Johnson calling her with good news that had tears of joy running down her face.
"He said, 'We are going to get those glasses for you," Lindley recalled. She received her pair of high tech eSight 4 glasses Thursday evening from the Mattoon Lions Club and the Twilight Wish Foundation during the club's monthly meeting in the Honey Bee Cafe banquet room.
The Twilight Wish Foundation is a national nonprofit charitable organization whose mission is to honor and enrich the lives of seniors through intergenerational wish granting celebrations. The Foundation grants wishes to seniors who are over 65 years old and have an income of less than 200 percent of poverty level or who are residents of a nursing facility and cannot make their own wishes come true.
Lindley has a visual acuity of 20/400 in both eyes without an assistive device and is legally blind. She said the eSight electronic eyewear she tried out earlier this year enabled her to read an eye chart at a 20/40 level at the Indiana office of Advanced Low Vision Technology, a distributor of low vision devices. The president, Dennis McKinney, of that business also brought eSight glasses to Lindley for her to try closer to home.
"Gloria saw things she didn't know were there, so it was quite an experience," McKinney said. He added that the glasses can zoom up to 20 times.
The eSight glasses, which look like virtual reality goggles, match camera and lens technology and can be used by headset controls or wireless handheld remote. They enable Lindley to recognize faces, watch television, read and more. She said the glasses are expensive, at nearly $6,000, but are fantastic products.
"I knew I couldn't afford to do it being on a set income," Lindley said of getting eSight glasses. She thanked everyone involved with her wish being granted, saying, "I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart."
To grant what would become wish number 4,098 for the Twilight Wish Foundation since it formed in 2003, this nonprofit organization reached out to the Mattoon Lions Club. One of the focuses of Lions Clubs International is supporting vision health programs. The Mattoon club agreed to assist with the wish for Lindley and cover the cost of the eSight glasses.
Lindley tried out her new eSight glasses at Thursday's club meeting. She used them to visit with the Lions and to read a certificate that the Twilight Wish Foundation presented her for "maintaining an inspiring and uplifting spirit and dedication to others." The foundation also presented a certificate to the club for its service and commitment to seniors, particularly for helping with the wish.
"We really hope that does wonderful things for your life," Johnson told Lindley as she used her new glasses.
Mattoon resident Gloria Lindley, who has been losing her sight to macular degeneration, received eSight 4 glasses to help her see Thursday evening from the Mattoon Lions Club and the Twilight Wish Foundation. Lindley wears her new glasses while standing with Lions Club International district trustee David Johnson, at left, and Advanced Low Vision Technology President Dennis McKinney at the Honey Bee Cafe in Mattoon.
Mattoon resident Gloria Lindley uses her new eSight 4 glasses from the Mattoon Lions Club and the Twilight Wish Foundation to read a certificate presented to her by the foundation Thursday evening at the Honey Bee Cafe in Mattoon.
Mattoon resident Gloria Lindley tests out her new eSight 4 glasses Thursday evening at the Honey Bee Cafe in Mattoon with the help of Lions Club International district trustee David Johnson, at left, and Advanced Low Vision Technology President Dennis McKinney.